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Full text of "[untitled] The American Historical Review, (1902-07-01), pages 760-762"

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760 Reviews of Books 

of dates in Cecil's journal, according to which the prosecution ruins its 
own case by establishing for the letter an absurd chronology and the pre- 
sumption of forgery. Distinguishing sharply between the legal case and 
the historical case against Mary, Mr. Lang rejects the prosecution's dates 
and erects a provisional scheme based upon the agreement of two inde- 
pendent Edinburgh diaries concerning the date of an Edinburgh matter. 
Had Cecil's journal presented the date of the diaries, the letter's chron- 
ology would not have been open to attack. 

Most critics consider the Glasgow letter the clumsy work of a forger 
who has cut a genuine letter into pieces and interpolated false matter. 
Paragraph seven concludes with the words — " The morne I wil speik to 
him upon this Point : " paragraph eleven ends — " This is my first jornay 
(day's work). I sail end ye same ye morne." Mr. Lang's explana- 
tion is simple and excludes the idea of interpolation. Mary wrote these 
words, consecutively, at night, the first expression at the bottom of one 
sheet, the other at the top of a fresh sheet. Next day she picked up the 
second sheet on the unused side, and continued her letter, not discover- 
ing her words of the previous night until she turned the page. She then 
probably ran her pen lightly through the lines, but later a bungling tran- 
scriber and translator copied the whole affair. Hinc Mm lachrymm. Mr. 
Lang's ingenious explanation, supported by an identical instance in the 
case of Mary's sonnet in the Bodleian, has since acquired additional 
probability. The authentic manuscripts from which Father Pollen in his 
recent publication prints for the first time Mary's long letter to the Duke 
of Guise, exhibits, mutatis mutandis, a similar mistake on Mary's part. 

O. H. Richardson. 

Papal Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots during her Reign in 
Scotland, r§6i-i^6j. Edited, from the original documents in 
the Vatican Archives and elsewhere, by John Hungerford 
Pollen, S.J. (Edinburgh : T. and A. Constable, for the Scottish 
History Society. 1901. Pp. cxliii, 555.) 

Father Pollen's volume contains two hundred and fifty-nine 
hitherto unprinted documents, edited with scrupulous care, and accom- 
panied by accurate translations and full notes. The collection practi- 
cally fills the gap which remained in the records of Mary's reign after 
the publication of the Spanish Calendar with the exception of her corre- 
spondence with the Cardinal of Lorraine. This Father Pollen was unable 
to find, and he despairs of its recovery. 

The introduction to the work is itself a valuable contribution to his- 
tory. It exhibits old problems in the light of the new facts and dispels 
many mysteries. First is disclosed the fatal weakness of French policy 
with respect to Scotland during the regency of Mary of Lorraine — not 
an out-and-out French and Roman Catholic policy, but "an endeavor to 
cloak a policy of compromise with the appearance of being ' thorough. ' ' ' 
The attempt betrayed the essential weakness of France, roused the 



Pollen: Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots 761 

suspicions of both friends and foes, and led to political combinations 
which ruined French power in Scotland. 

As to religious matters, Mary Stuart in the documents appears to rule 
consistently as a politique, not as an extremist whose ultimate endeavor 
was to undo the Reformation. She aimed at an English alliance, was 
"not oppressed by her duty as a Catholic sovereign," and seems to 
manifest more desire for Roman subsidies than for Roman rites. Ap- 
parently the papal diplomatists were not consulted at all about Mary's 
assumption of the English arms. 

The strongest argument for believing that Mary signed the Catholic 
League disappears with the publication of a letter from Pius IV. to the Car- 
dinal of Lorraine, dated September 25th, 1565, expressly refusing to send 
Mary a subsidy. In fact, Father Pollen, finding no diplomatic material 
at Rome or in the archives of any of the countries said to be concerned, 
argues conclusively enough that no such league ever existed. Absence 
of such documents from the archives of one state might be accidental ; 
absence from all amounts to proof positive. In a similar way he is able 
to show that Rizzio was not a papal emissary. 

The documents further enable Father Pollen to unravel the mystery 
attending the dispensation for the Darnley marriage. The wedding 
occurred July 29 ; the dispensation was not granted until some time 
between August 14 and September 25. On the 22nd of July, however, 
the day when the banns were published, Mary had received from the 
Pope a communication which the papal nuncio at Paris, one of its for- 
warders, believed to be the dispensation itself. Circumstances were 
pressing, Mary acted as if the dispensation had been granted — rumors 
were rife that it had been and Mary may have believed them — married 
Darnley and said nothing. Labanoff erroneously asserts that Mary's 
envoy, the bishop of Dunblane, arrived at Edinburgh with the dispensa- 
tion on the 22nd of July and the banns were at once published. Recent 
historians have followed Labanoff. 

Father Pollen rightly considers that the letters of Laureo, bishop of 
Mondovi, a nuncio despatched from Rome in June, 1566, form the most 
valuable body of documents in the entire collection. They prove the 
energy and determination with which Pius V. sought to regain the 
obedience of Scotland ; they show also Mary's coolness in the cause, and 
the consistency with which she carried out her policy of compromise. 
The account which they give of the great tragedy of the reign is the 
fullest we possess, considering their early date. Two new details are of 
considerable importance. The first is a definite statement that " one rib 
in the King's body was found broken by the 'jump ' of the fall, and all 
the inward parts crushed and bruised." The second is a circumstantial 
account of a simultaneous attack on Darnley in Edinburgh and Lennox 
in Glasgow. If this be true, it tends, as Father Pollen suggests, to 
redeem Mary from the charge of active participation in the murder on 
the score of her bringing Darnley from comparative safety at Glasgow to 
certain danger at Edinburgh. Finally, Laureo's letters prove that un- 



762 Reviews of Books 

sparing condemnation was meted out to Mary by papal emissaries and 
the Pope himself on account of her marriage with Bothwell. Negoti- 
ations were discontinued for two years. 

It is with great interest that we await Father Pollen's critical edition 
of the Lennox papers and documents relating to the proposed excom- 
munication of Elizabeth at Trent. O. H. Richardson. 

The True Story of Captain John Smith. By Katherine Pearson 

Woods. (New York : Doubleday, Page and Co. 1902. Pp. 

xv, 382.) 

There is welcome awaiting the book that shall tell Smith's story 
effectively or test his trustworthiness critically. Probably one volume 
cannot do both things ; certainly the present volume does neither. 
The plan of the narrative is well conceived : one hundred and twenty 
pages suffice for all possible detail before and after the Virginian voyage, 
two brief chapters give the historical setting for the Jamestown expedi- 
tion and over half the volume is reserved for Smith's heroic two years as 
colonist and governor. Moreover, Miss Woods feels to the full the 
charm of the robust manhood and romantic adventure wherewith her 
hero's own accounts clothe him, and she believes implicitly in his 
honesty. Nevertheless the story element is ruined by the intrusion of 
superfluous and shallow judgments and by a thoroughly wretched and 
fatal style. 

And while the book is unsatisfactory to the lover of a good story, it 
is positively irritating to the historical student. "Not the least impor- 
tant" object of the volume, according to the preface, is " to still once 
and for all those disturbing voices that have of late years been busy in 
aspersing his [Smith's] memory." As a chief means to the accomplish- 
ment of this modest purpose, Miss Woods reprints two old maps of 
southern Russia, and she hopes that "for the future" certain names 
therein "will convict of simple ignorance him who doubts that John 
Smith fought the Turks in the ' Land of Zarkam ' or was carried a slave 
and prisoner into ' Tartaria " ' ! Miss Woods seems not to know Mr. 
Lewis L. Kropf s formidable demonstration that the whole Transylvanian 
story is a worthless romance. So long as the Pocahontas story was 
taken as the touchstone of Smith's character, we were compelled to 
judge mainly from Smith's own rather confusing evidence, and it was 
largely a matter of temperament whether one believed him the soul of 
honor or a more or less artistic liar. But the Turks' heads and the coat 
of arms, it seems, may be tested by other than subjective standards. 
Mr. Kropfs articles in the London Notes and Queries of 1890 have 
taken the Transylvanian episodes out of the field of psychology into that 
of history, and Miss Woods's two maps go very little way toward silencing 
this disturbing voice. 

The book teems with minor faults. In a work that claims historical 
character, it is not reassuring to come upon such uncalled for surmises as 
that Smith's Tartar lady Charatza "may very possibly have been even